I ordered 6 new chicks from Meyer Hatchery over a month ago that were expected to hatch out and ship on April 5th. Then last week, Jay and I attended a Back Yard Chicken seminar sponsored by Nutrena Foods and held at our nearby Agway. We learned little we didn't already know at the presentation since the presenter obviously doesn't have chickens and was there to read from her Powerpoint slides and sell chicken feed. However, we did find out that Agway had new chicks to sell, Rhode Island Reds, Plymouth Barred Rocks, and Red Sex Links. So we came home with one of each that evening.
I feared I would have too many with 3 new ones, 6 more coming and 7 grown hens in the coop already. Jay added another perch in the coop to accomodate the new ones who will be integrated in a couple of months. Then the hatchery called to let me know that 3 of the chicks I ordered were not available due to unproductive hens and infertile eggs. I added one more Silkie to the adjusted order of three so the other bantam Silkie wouldn't be the lone little one. Silkies are a bantam breed, meaning they are miniature chickens, reaching a maximum size of less than one pound. The red Silkie is shown above (the other is blue). The other chicks are a Buff Orpington and a Light Brahma. The Silkies and the Brahma have feathers growing down their legs already so Kelsey is trying to think of hobbit names for them. Since Silkies are too small to be sexed, we're taking our chances that one or both may be little cockerals. The others are supposed to be pullets. If anyone has any good name suggestions for the seven new chickies, please send them in.
The age difference between the Agway chicks and the new ones is only about 2 weeks, making the new chicks look even tinier. The Silkie chicks could easily fit inside a plastic Easter egg.
News from the older hens: I weighed Thelma, the Jersey Giant hen, the other day. She's 6 pounds now at 6 months of age. She's supposed to grow until she's two years old and reach about 10 pounds. By comparison, the Americaunas are about 4.5 pounds at 11 months. Thelma finally laid her first egg yesterday, a beautiful, pale brown one. The different colors in the nesting box along with the decoy golf ball made quite the picture.